10 Gadgets to Add to Your Holiday List

10 Gadgets You'll Want to Add to Your Holiday ListThe holiday season is  here and consumer tech companies have been busy showing off their newest phones, Windows 8 machines, and other assorted devices slated for the end of the year.

Here are some of our favorite gadgets we think you should add to your wish list (or, if you’re being nice and generous, your list of gifts to give).

Kobo Arc Tablet

Following in the grand (if new) tradition of e-reader makers’ bringing out tablets, Kobo recently introduced the Kobo Arc 7-inch Android slate. No surprise on the price: It starts at $199 for a model with 16GB of internal storage.

The thing that makes the Arc different from other bookseller offerings is that it’s a Google-certified device, so you’ll have access to all of the core apps like Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and so on, plus anything in the Google Play Store. It will come preloaded with the Kobo store, but there’s nothing stopping you from downloading the Nook or Kindle apps if you want.

Kobo does employ a user interface skin, but it doesn’t completely hide Android the way the interface on the Kindle Fire HD or Nook Tablet do. Instead, you’re encouraged to “pin” things into content-aware folders. Apps, websites, files, and books can live in these groupings in harmony. As you pin, the Arc recommends other pieces of content from around the web and the Kobo store.

This looks like a good balance between Android’s openness and ease of use. Keep an eye out for our full review.

Price: $199 (16GB), $249 (32GB), $299 (64GB)
More Info: From Kobo



BlueAnt Ribbon Bluetooth Streamer

Have you ever wanted the freedom of bluetooth but didn’t want to give up your favorite headphones? BlueAnt’s new Ribbon is the perfect solution. Pair this little guy to your phone, tablet, or other device, then plug in your headphones. The device offers full, rich sound to any standard headphone while clinging to your shirt or jacket.

You can also connect it to any speaker or speaker dock with a standard 3.5mm input jack to turn it into a bluetooth speaker. This is perfect for all those iPhone docks that won’t work with the iPhone 5′s new lightning connector.

Price: $69.99
More info: From BlueAnt


Pentax Q10 Camera

This tiny little camera is more powerful than it seems. Though it looks like some sort of retro toy, it’s a full-featured, 12.4-megapixel DSLR camera. Its compact mirrorless design offers the ability to change lenses. Shutterbugs will find all of the familiar shooting modes, and there will be a range of telephoto and zoom lenses to extend the Pentax Q10′s functionality. If you’re just starting out, there are helpful auto and scene modes as well.

This version comes with a built-in auto flash. The viewfinder is a separate accessory.

Price: $599
More info: From Pentax



Blue Microphones Spark Digital Mic for PC and iPad

This is the perfect gift for professional musicians, podcasters, or anyone who needs to record high-quality audio while remaining as mobile and versatile as possible. Spark Digital is a studio-quality microphone that connects to computers via USB or to an iPad via the 30-pin port.

It has the same internals as the studio version, which will make anyone who knows their audio specs drool. Plus, it’s capable of multiple modes to fit the type of recording (voice, interview, music, and so on).

Price: $199
More info: From Blue Microphones



Afterglow Wired and Wireless Gaming Headset

There are three virtues a gaming headset must posses to be wish-worthy: cool design, amazing audio quality, and wide compatibility. The Afterglow by PDP hits the trifecta.

Aside from having a cool glowing element on the cans, the Afterglow also features a dual headband design that will make it more comfortable to wear long-term. The noise-canceling mic is retractable, tucking fully into the left earpiece when not in use.

Whether you’re playing games, listening to music, or watching video, both the wired and wireless headsets deliver crisp, directional sound that allows for full immersion. We found that the bass boost function rounds out the bottom without affecting the high end.

Both Afterglow headsets are compatible with Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS, PCs, and mobile devices.

Price: $59.95 (wired); $89.95 (wireless)
Buy it: From PDP


K. T. Bradford
K. T. Bradford
K. T. Bradford is a mobile technology geek with a passion for pocketable gadgets and anything that makes her life better without making her bag too much heavier. In addition to being a tech reviewer she's also an unabashed geek with a love of all things science fiction and many things science fact. You can follow her at  @K T Bradford.
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  • Andy_Avantgardian

    That headset looks awesome!